2D Hydrodynamic Based Logic Modeling Tool for River Restoration Decision Analysis: A Quantitative Approach to Project Prioritization
Thursday, 18 December 2014
In the field of river restoration sciences there is a growing need for analytical modeling tools and quantitative processes to help identify and prioritize project sites. 2D hydraulic models have become more common in recent years and with the availability of robust data sets and computing technology, it is now possible to evaluate large river systems at the reach scale. The Trinity River Restoration Program is now analyzing a 40 mile segment of the Trinity River to determine priority and implementation sequencing for its Phase II rehabilitation projects. A comprehensive approach and quantitative tool has recently been developed to analyze this complex river system referred to as: 2D-Hydrodynamic Based Logic Modeling (2D-HBLM). This tool utilizes various hydraulic output parameters combined with biological, ecological, and physical metrics at user-defined spatial scales. These metrics and their associated algorithms are the underpinnings of the 2D-HBLM habitat module used to evaluate geomorphic characteristics, riverine processes, and habitat complexity. The habitat metrics are further integrated into a comprehensive Logic Model framework to perform statistical analyses to assess project prioritization. The Logic Model will analyze various potential project sites by evaluating connectivity using principal component methods. The 2D-HBLM tool will help inform management and decision makers by using a quantitative process to optimize desired response variables with balancing important limiting factors in determining the highest priority locations within the river corridor to implement restoration projects. Effective river restoration prioritization starts with well-crafted goals that identify the biological objectives, address underlying causes of habitat change, and recognizes that social, economic, and land use limiting factors may constrain restoration options (Bechie et. al. 2008). Applying natural resources management actions, like restoration prioritization, is essential for successful project implementation (Conroy and Peterson, 2013). Evaluating tradeoffs and examining alternatives to improve fish habitat through optimization modeling is not just a trend but rather the scientific strategy by which management needs embrace and apply in its decision framework.